Born Norma Jeane Baker on June 1, 1926 in Los Angeles, Marilyn Monroe became one of the most celebrated film personalities of her time. Though much has been made of Marilyn’s personal history, her life was the classic show-business tragedy. Stardom seemed a burden; being an international sex goddess, even more so.
In 1946 she decided to change her name to Marilyn Monroe. Her career was launched with a role in All about Eve in 1950. In 1953 she married the baseball icon Joe DiMaggio. In 1956, after her third marriage to playwright Arthur Miller, Monroe struggled to understand theories of acting and wanted to star in the classics. When this effort proved fruitless, she became so difficult to work with that she was virtually unemployable. She was recklessly spoiled and unsure and was barely able to complete even the briefest scene between breakdowns.
Yet in the handful of comedies in which she starred her ebullience and freshness transcend her limitations: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), How to Marry a Millionaire (1953), The Seven Year Itch (1955), The Prince and the Showgirl (1957), and Some Like It Hot (1959). She also performed competently in two dramatic roles, Bus Stop (1956) and The Misfits (1961). Monroe longed to be taken seriously as an artist but her work was neither original nor very interesting.
Among the many books written about her, Norman Mailer's biography, Marilyn (1973), made headlines in its own right. Miller's play After the Fall (1964) is the playwright's veiled interpretation of their tense, unhappy marriage.
She died on August 5, 1962 from an overdose of sleeping pills, possibly a suicide, at a young age of 36.
Daily #MarilynMonroe fact 78- (As requested) Marilyn’s mental problems over the years. This piece written by someone who studied Marilyn for 19+ pretty much sums it up: “Marilyn Monroe was not bipolar, nor was she manic depressive. She had no inherent mental illness whatsoever. Her mother was schizophrenic. Marilyn’s problems stemmed from external traumas, rather than brain chemistry issues, therefore they were not true mental illness and could have been fixed had she sought a decent therapist. Unfortunately, her analysts and psychiatrists ended up doing more harm than good. Marilyn’s issues stemmed from early childhood trauma: 1. A feeling of abandonment by her biological mother 2. Being in different foster homes 3. Never knowing who her father was 4. Early childhood sexual abuse. The effects of these four traumas are the same for nearly all people who experience them- anxiety, insecurity, difficulty controlling emotions, abandonment issues, difficulty getting close to people, etc. Anyone experiencing these traumas would exhibit similar effects as Marilyn’s. The difference between these external events and something like bipolar is that bipolar is a chemical imbalance in the brain chemistry and doesn’t go away, whereas the above issues can be successfully treated in therapy. Marilyn was never diagnosed with any mental illness, despite seeing three different psychiatrists from 1955-1962.” On a side note, Marilyn’s use of prescription drugs, mostly Nembutal, mimics a few mental disorders including Bipolar Disorder. (#MarilynMonroe photographed by Milton Greene, 1956.) (Taken with Instagram)